DMU experts team up with luxury fashion brand to present their research at COP 27

A commitment to making the fashion industry more sustainable has led to DMU researchers teaming up with a luxury clothing brand exhibiting at the COP 27 UN climate change conference in Egypt.

 L SAHA cop 27 opens

COP 27 is opened in front of world leaders

London-based luxury womenswear label L Saha contacted DMU School of Fashion and Textiles lecturers and the university’s Insititute of Energy and Sustainable Development (IESD) to support an exhibition at the COP 27 event, which has brought global leaders together in Sharm El-Sheikh to tackle the climate emergency.

L Saha’s designs, which have dressed A-listers and royal families, are created sustainably and ethically and focus on exceptional craftsmanship.

Everything that goes into each piece of luxury womenswear is accounted for, from the farmers who grow the crops to create the textiles to ensuring fair pay for the artisan craftspeople who hand stitch the designs.

Brand founder Labone Saha has previously said ‘we cannot burn our home in the quest to make profits’ and DMU academics are delighted she has approached the university for support at COP 27.

L SAHA collection main

Part of the L Saha autumn/winter collection

The L Saha exhibition will be informed by DMU research which shows the devastating effect the fashion industry is having on the planet, and how DMU is countering this.

Dr Claire Lerpiniere, an Associate Professor, researcher and teacher in Textile Design at DMU, said: “It is wonderful to partner with a brand driven by the principles of sustainability, equality and human rights on the global stage.

“L Saha is what the future of the fashion industry can be – fully sustainable and ethical with a  beautiful design aesthetic.

“Our academics and students are fully aware of the global challenges that face the fashion industry but our teaching and research looks at everything from the textile manufacturing process to garment durability and longevity as we work to make the industry more sustainable.

“We are also aware of how important it is to promote sustainability across all of our DMU faculties covering everything from the student experience to our work as a civic university. DMU recognises we all have a part to play.”

L SAHA COP 27 protest resized

Climate protestors outside COP 27 in Egypt

Muyiwa Oyinlola, Director of the IESD at DMU, will be at COP 27 for the L Saha exhibition.

He said: “We are pleased our expertise and experience in areas critical for tackling the sustainability challenge in  the fashion sector means we are partnering with L Saha for this COP27 exhibition under the  Energy, Industry and Just Transition.

“During the exhibition, we will be highlighting how our leading research in low carbon technology – such as renewable energy technology and energy efficiency – and the Circular Economy – which includes sustainable production and consumption, upcycling and recycling  - can benefit the manufacturing process in textiles around the world.”

Sustainability is a huge focus for DMU, which is the only UK university to be a hub for the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - a series of 17 targets to make the world a better place.

L SAHA cop 27 logo main pic

The COP 27 logo

DMU’s School of Fashion and Textiles was named winner of the Next Generation Learning and Skills Award in last  year’s Green Gowns Awards, which reward the most sustainable projects happening in higher education today.

It has enhanced its courses and curriculum to ensure that graduates are empowered to create positive change and reverse the devastating environmental impacts of the global fashion industry, which is currently responsible for 10 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The university won another two Green Gown Awards just last week. DMU’s Sustainability Manager, Karl Letten, the energy team and the Estates and Facilities Directorate claimed the 2030 Climate Action Award, while DMU Global received the Building Back Better award.

Carolyn Hardaker, Head of the School of Fashion and Textiles, said: “It is a year since this school won a Green Gown Award and was represented at the World Expo in Dubai so it is wonderful that we have another opportunity to have our teaching and research put on the world stage.”

Posted on Wednesday 16th November 2022

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